02 March 2015

Snowed in Sunday



To be honest, I was still so bummed about our cancelled trip yesterday that I really wanted do nothing but feel sorry for myself. Everyone was going out to sled though, so I told my pouty face that it might as well just stay inside by itself. The worst that would happen if I went outside is that I might have some fun... Haha! (I'm telling you, I REALLY did not want to go outside at all!)
Sigh :) 
Well, that was a good turning point for my day :)

Just a few snapshots for fun... 



Then adorable little Victor joined me making donuts in the evening... <3




He didn't do half bad... only a few spills that we laughed at. Btw - it was hilarious watching him crack the eggs. I only had to pick out two pieces of eggshells (besides the whole egg shells that he would just drop in there... ;P)



Hehe... yummy ;)


Then he played with water for the next thirty minutes ;D

-MarLeahJoy

28 February 2015

Cancelled



I woke up this morning. 4am. Ready to hop out of bed and get the day going! Like, the only day I've ever woke up and been ready to get on with the day! Ha! 
But the next thing I know, I was reading a text that said our flights were cancelled because our connecting flight in Dallas had too much ice and snow.

Well, I won't even describe how disappointed I felt (and still am feeling). 
We have the trip re-scheduled, but it just can't be the same. :/
Today has just been a really rough day for me all around, but the Lord gave me a part of this song... "Oh the thought that Jesus loves me... So I will let it change and heal me. Let it ease my troubled mind..."
So you know... 
It's gonna be okay :)

And I was half-way consoled in the fact that we had a beautiful snowfall all morning. So I had to go outside a little. And I found my little bug... the one that's been out of commission the last few weeks. Haha, every time we have to fix something on it, I start to really miss driving the thing. I guess that's a good thing right now since I've been tempted with the thoughts of buying a newer car. ;P Nope! I still love the old thing!



I just uploaded a new video to YouTube... and I also realized that I haven't shared my other video on here either. 

The first one is about our little sledding adventures...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FAt6TTIORw

The one I finished today was a long-time idea, that I was finally able to make into a video of a train running over my GoPro. :D 




Annndd... I shared something on IG. Told you! You couldn't trust my words in my previous post.
But, my attitude has really changed about why I'm posting. So... I'll excuse myself for bending the rules ;)

-MarLeahJoy


26 February 2015

Passport


I haven't packed for my skiing trip yet, partially because I got my passport card and book in the mail - so that requires photos. And that means getting out my camera, throwing stuff all around my room to make it look "clean" where I'm taking pictures, and running back and forth between where I'm posing and the back of the camera to check the images. Exhausting, a little ;) But fun :)
btw - I'm really starting to appreciate my off camera flash since I get home from work when there is like no natural lighting. I used to hate the flash, but I'm kinda starting to like it :)


Right now, I'm in quite the quandary though... 
I generally discourage myself from sharing this kind of stuff on my blog, because my feelings are known to change, and then whatever I proclaimed to the world on my blog is suddenly untrue... :P

Anyway, I've felt so many pressures with social media to be some great person. An adventurer, amazing photographer, good with words, and to hang out with cool people... Then to broadcast that all over social media to make everyone else jealous of my "awesome life".
Well, I've already stated in a previous post about the chain reaction of social media sending me (and I'm sure others) into a form of depression because we aren't doing enough awesome things like everyone else is.
But now I have several trips planned out, I have the 35mm lens, I have a GoPro, I have an awesome hammock that hangs between trees, a tent, and access to a lot of cool things like jet skis, sky diving, flying. You know, things are/were starting to look up for me. I even started to plan out my social media posts for different trips and adventures that I would go on... starting with my trip this weekend to West Virginia. 
At last! I was beginning to see potential and I was starting to watch my social media facade shape out in the way I always dreamed it would go.
Except... this week I deleted my instagram app and haven't checked IG since, and I decided I don't want to post anything to facebook. I don't want to follow the pressure to try to find peace with myself by being accepted by people. 
I made this decision after a series of things happened. First of all, I began to see myself just getting way too wrapped up in it, letting it consume all my thoughts and energy. Also, I heard a message Sunday night that I can't even describe because it was that good! And it really spoke to my heart and challenged me to think about what is really important.
Some of my thoughts that I wrote in my journal during the message:
"Jesus didn't seek fame, reputation, or money. If He -- so much greater than we -- sought no recognition, why should we -- so much less than He -- desire to be lifted up in others' minds"

And I decided, if someone doesn't like me making this choice, then they are going to have to just get over it. But more than likely it's just my mind reasoning and telling me that I would be doing a dis-service to others and that people might be upset at me. (Ha! Who am I kidding ;P)
So... the quandary? Well, the issue is that when I started to create this blog post, I found myself thinking, "Ooo... that set of pictures would look great as my facebook cover photo!" "This person would see it, and that person would see it, and so and so would think this about me." 
Yep, the struggle is real.
So real that I already started to question my decision.
But, writing about it today has helped me take a firmer stance.

This doesn't mean that I will stop using my GoPro to make videos, or I won't enjoy myself on adventures (and I certainly won't stop myself from taking adventures), or I won't keep challenging myself in photography. But honestly, I'm not even going to list out on here what online presence/social media I have decided is best for me to avoid... but all I know is that I feel the decision I've made is good. It will be good for me.
And if you feel like this decision is a good step for me, too... then pray for me that I will be strong in it! :)


And, yes, I think I'll leave my passport book and card out to decorate my room, because it makes my heart do a happy little skip every time I see it :)

-MarLeahJoy

16 February 2015

Let's Not Pretend


Okay, so I'll try not to rant, but social media is one of the biggest living lies that we all experience everyday! I just went on a media fast for a week with some other girls and one of the biggest things I learned from it was something I realized after I started to let myself get back on social media when the fast was done. 
Why don't I just start out with a bit of wisdom that I got from my dear cousin many months ago... She said that social media has the effect of depressing you because it only highlights the positive moments in people's lives. Now, grated, sometimes we confess our disappointments, but in general we post pictures of happy times, good memories, and for photographers -- the one good photo out of maybe 20 others. 
After my media fast ended, I didn't even bother to re-download many of my apps that I had deleted... instagram, paper, twitter, snapchat, etc. And to be honest, I was completely happy and didn't miss catching up on other's lives, and I didn't even feel the need to share about mine. It was the most refreshing break I've had in a while. But as soon as I got connected again. I immediately battled depressive thoughts like, "I never do anything cool... I haven't taken any good pictures recently. There's no place I know around here to get such a cool shot like that!" Well, I really had a time with it that night, and even woke up in the morning thinking about it. But God really helped me to realize that I didn't have to be that "perfect" person living a dream life where you ONLY go on adventures... like EVERY DAY! Because it even says in the bible that there is a time and season for everything. There's a time to work, there's a time to take a break away. There's a time to spend more days away and there is a time when your energy and help is needed by other people nearby (like maybe even at home, cleaning the house even!).
And some people seem to have either completely shirked all their duties and they live off of the crumbs of someone else, or they just know how to time their posts to where it always appears like they are out on some perfect vacation or leisure adventure.

And it frustrates me.

Why can't I do this?

To be honest, I've fought these thoughts more than I would like to admit. It's silly, but it's true that social media can so easily fool you to think that someone else's troubled life is the life you have so sought after. And the solution? Well, I'm not going to say that it is to ban all social media. I indeed like sharing my highlights every once in a while, after all. ;) But maybe the solution is in recognizing the problem and having a change of heart. 

Plus, God gave me a song when I woke up that one morning still troubled about my own lame life, that helped to put things in the right perspective. :)


The song that God really gave me was "The Happy People" with "Who but the Christian is happy and free..." But I guess both songs kind of work.


But my main point today is that I'm not going to pretend that my life is perfect. The cold weather actually cancelled the session I was supposed to do Sunday, so I was pretty disappointed and wanted to used my lens somewhere besides my room... so Kiki and I secretly planned to wake up early Saturday morning and go catch a sunrise at the lake because we knew that the rest of the day would be filled with working hard on the house to get it ready for company.

And, no, I'm not going to pretend. It wasn't perfect. I started the timelapse of us driving there and I had it on night mode. Well, those all turned out to be completely over exposed. Whoops! Then the place we walked out to was completely muddy and we had to take off our shoes just to get back in the car. Anyway, we still had a great time.




My little side kick! I'm so glad she's in my life... I'm really not sure what I would do without her.


This man was walking out to a fishing spot and he almost walked right in front of where my GoPro was at capturing the timelapse of the sunrise. I wasn't going to say anything though, but thankfully he was observant enough and kind of stopped and was like, "Ah, you out here taking photos, eh?" and then he walked behind the GoPro. Whew! ;)
But as soon as he walked by I started snapping photos of him and Kiki nearly lost it in giggles... I guess she thought it a little strange to be taking pictures of a complete stranger. Ha ;)



Farewell, Mr. Fisherman...

-MarLeahJoy




14 February 2015

VDay!




Shout out to Heather, who gets me all prepared for holidays by sending me decor she made for my room! And 50 cheers for using my 35mm f1.4 for the first time!! :D


This morning I went with Kiki to the lake just to have some alone time. Tonight we are have a surprise 50th birthday for my dad, which means that we clean the house all. day. long. o.O I knew our only breakaway would be in the morning, so we got out of the house early to spend some time with nature.
Plus, I wanted to just get out of the house with my camera and obviously my 35mm! I didn't forget the GoPro, though either... ;) 

Well, back to cleaning I must go! :P The odd thing is that we have to be careful to not rearrange and clean things too much or Daddy might be suspicious that we are having some people over ;)

-MarLeahJoy




08 February 2015

Newborn Nolan




I always love it (and get a little nervous) when someone inquires about a session that is a little different than anything I've done... Believe it or not, I have never done a newborn session until now. And it was high time for me to put to practice some newborn tips I learned at a photography workshop.




Look at that sly little smile... ;)
















I really enjoyed this session and I'm sooo ready for the family session coming up this Sunday! I went through a stage last fall (probably due to working and going to college full time :/) where I seriously wanted to just give up the whole aspect of portrait photography and basically any photography for hire at all. So glad I'm over that!! (Ranelle told me I would get over it) ;) 
But I also have a little more excitement for this session coming up than normal because I just got an email today telling me that my 35mm f1.4 will arrive on Friday! :) Now maybe a prime lens isn't necessarily necessary for a photographer to have, but man! I've just gotta have at least one! I actually hope that for any future lens purchases I won't get drawn into thinking that I have to have the Prime or L series lenses from Canon. The money spent on something doesn't always mean that there will be a visible difference in the quality. 


-MarLeahJoy


29 January 2015

BNSF


Burlington Northern Santa Fe :)
First of all, I find it a little cool that it was the same railroad company runs through town that my Grandpa worked for - the Grandpa I never met in person... :'(

I've been looking up the schedule for the BNSF to see when it will run through town so I can finally catch the video (and hopefully a picture, as well) of the train running over my GoPro.
I will actually be on a "media fast" with all the girls at church for the next week, so I probably won't post anything about it until another week (bad timing :P)


As I mentioned in a previous post though, I have already tried to capture the train thundering over the tracks once before. And the real reason I decided to get up and do this was because of the amazing fog. So I got some shots while I was setting up the GoPro.




There's my little GoPro down there...


And then I waited and waited, and took some pictures of the frost and waited some more...



And yes, my GoPro was under there during the time this picture was taken.

So here's to wishing I can finally capture this little dream of mine this weekend!!

-MarLeahJoy